Background: Breakfast consumption is labelled as the most important meal of the day. It might be of significant importance for adolescent students as it might influence their short-term memory, performance and mood. However, the prevalence of skipping breakfast among adolescents in Saudi Arabia is high. Aims: To investigate the association between breakfast intake and short-term memory, performance and mood among Saudi female adolescents. Methods and Material: A Cross-sectional study was conducted in a secondary female School (Riyadh) involving 170 (15-19 years). Structured questionnaires on breakfast eating habits, student performance at school, a standardized questionnaire mood and feeling and a standardized short-term memory test. Statistical analysis used Chi2 test and ANOVA test to assess the association between breakfast intake and the studied parameter. Results: Only 39% of participants keep their daily breakfast. Frequency of breakfast intake was strongly and positively associated with improved performance (R2=0.87, p<0.001), and to short-term memory score (R2=0.5, p<0.05). However, no correlation between daily breakfast intake and mood was obtained. Conclusions: This study confirmed the high rate of skipping breakfast among Saudi female adolescents, and provides further evidence on the beneficial effect of breakfast intake on student’s short-term memory as well as the school performance. Nutrition education program targeting this population should be implemented to enhance its awareness on the importance of breakfast intake.
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